Monday, September 29, 2008

SO LONG TO THE PONDI - MONOCHROME ODDSHOTS

One day you walk past the familiar sight of the Estate affectionately known as the "Pondi" in Ramsey, the next day this is what you see. In fact today these houses no longer exist. A pile of of demolished rubble stands in the place of what were once a proportion of Ramsey residents homes. To me, who is using to passing this place to get home the image is odd, very odd.

The Pondi contained an Estate of houses known as "Commissioners houses. "To Uk readers you may be more familiar with the term "Council Houses." I am not sure what the equivalent would be in other parts of the world, or even if this type of housing exists in this form elsewhere. Council Housing is a form of accommodation that is owned by the local Council authority and rented out to tenants on long term lets(lifetime in some people's cases) at a low rental. They are not Private sector rentals. The idea was to abolish the slum landlords and overcrowding and provide the working class or lower income families with affordable habitable accommodation. This enabled people to pay a lower rent with a view to purchasing their own home in subsequent years, then relinquishing the property to new tenants and continuing the cycle to provide a step on the mortgage ladder for all. With the boom and bust nature of the world at the moment, we need more of these, yet none are being built. All I will say before I go into a rant.

The Pondi is no more!A new lovely housing Estate has been built to replace it closer to the town centre.The residents then have thankfully been rehoused. What though is to become of this area? I have heard many theories, and conjecture. I will hold fire until I get the definitive answer. I know many people who started life here and who will probably look back fondly. I hope the demolition of the Pondi is a positive step forward for Ramsey and that the land is utilised accordingly for the good of the community. I know it's not the prettiest mono oddshot, but I like photojournalism and historical documentation images and I don't get the change in Ramsey to do them often. Life isn't all sunsets after all.

Does this kind of housing exist in your part of the world?

Want to join the weird world of Odd Shots Monday? Then see KATNEY

Want to join the beautiful and creative world of Mononchorome Monday? Then see Aileni at LOOSE ENDS

37 comments:

Virginia said...

B,
I'm not sure. I think maybe we have apartment complexes with reduced rent for that purpose. I think shots like these have real value as we all strive to show our cities and explain what makes us all alike, and different. I applaud your efforts here. As always your BW photos are so very good.
Feeling better are we??? Oh my, am I starting to talk like you????? HA !

Boise Diva said...

It is important to document....I've seen similar scenes may times where "great new plans" were supposed to happen...and years later, there's nothing but a vacany, weedy lot. Keep your eyes on it.

Louis la Vache said...

Quite an interesting post, Babooshka!

It seems that the housing you write of here is both similar to and different from public housing projects in some cities around the Bay Area and also in France. It seems your version is preferable in that (as "Louis" reads your post) they haven't become the slums they were intended to replace, which is what happened in the U.S. and in France.

kashi said...

No we don't have it. Sounds good but how is it monitored? Is it open to abuse.

Eki Akhwan said...

I know how odd and unsettling it could be to pass by a familiar place and not seeing the familiar sight. Well, places do change, and that's why this photograph of yours is a very invaluable historical record. It records the changing faces of your city. Great choice for odd Monday post, Babooshka.

Martin Miller-Yianni said...

Black and White photgraphy has so much to offer, it always had.

Nice post alongside.

Saretta said...

Yes, in Italy we have what's called "case popolari" which are architecturally very simple structures designed for low-income renters.

leslie said...

We don't have those types of homes, but we do have low rental units rented out to persons who have a low income. It's government run.

Mine's up now. :D

Aileni said...

We seem to live an an age of constant change - no continuity. I took shots to illustrate that point yesterday but haven't used them yet. It does give you an odd feeling.
Ideal subject for B&W reportage.

Jenni said...

Ramsey is going through many changes. Will it do any good though? I like your optimism. I lived on the Pondi many years ago. Mixed feelings. It was good in it's day but time to move aside. Thanks for the image.

magiceye said...

in mumbai,maharashtra, we have similar housing hosted by the state government authority. but now it is no more rental but ownership and available at prices slightly lower than market rates.

PERBS said...

We have government subsidized housing here -- only rentals tho --families pay 1/3 of their income for their apartment or house in several parts of the city. It helps out those just entering the work world and those retired with just social security to live on, no pensions.

Thanks for stopping by my odd shot.

MEDITERRANEAN KIWI said...

i wish we had such houses - no such thing as council houses, no such thing as apartments without a balcony - outdoor living space is very important in greece

MumbaiiteAnu said...

Interesting post about Pondi. In Mumbai & Navi Mumbai,we have subsidised housing, but now a single room apartment of about 300sq.ft also costs as much as Rs.25 lakhs.
You might feel odd about it for years.

My monochrome Monday shot Air India Building

laxeylass said...

The pondi should have been knocked down years ago and replaced. The houses where spacious but the government never really kept on top of tenants complaints about repairs. The whole island is in need of of better affordable housing. Laxey has lots of new homes out of reach of most peoples pockets. Good post. Really helps me keep up to date with island life.

margaret said...

My new house is smaller, but everything works. Thanks for the memory. We took our own photos too.

CrazyCath said...

Council estates that I knew as a child are now snapped up and owner/occupied. New council houses are not isolated in estates of their own but mixed in with more affluent houses. The "run down" sorts of properties are now the high rise flats.
At one time they made an effort to have a "pretty" estate. Then they became concrete jungles.

Great shot. History captured on film.

Bibi said...

Nothing like that here, but I support this kind of housing, and agree more should be built.

onangelwings said...

I am not sure if we have this but I find it always sad to see structures that were once put up for living taken down.

Carver said...

That's a very striking shot in black and white. I sort of know how you feel as we had something similar happen in downtown cities in NC (U.S.) where I live, although new extremely expensive houses were built to replace the housing project. In the U.S. it's called housing projects and there is some subsidized housing for those who can't afford current rents.

The problem is the housing projects were basically slums with a high crime rate and were not decent, affordable housing but were very shabby. Even so, I was outraged when instead of fixing them up many were torn down and expensive places were built to encourage professionals who were starting to move downtown.

It's nice to see urban areas fixed up but people who had roots in the downtown areas were displaced with individual houses being bought outside the central area and in some cases the low to no income people end up in group homes or became homeless. It's outrageous what has happened in my city with less and less being done to help break the cycle of poverty.

Dragonstar said...

That's an important record shot, and well-suited to black & white. Those were once people's homes, and however substandard they might have been, there's a touch of sadness involved.

Tanya said...

It's always sad to me to see buildings just torn down and forgotten.
I'm not sure if we have the same housing here. We do have something called "section 8" which is reduced rent or something like that. Not really sure what it is but see it advertised alot like this "section 8's ok"...probably not at all similar to yours,lol.

Uk Barnes. said...

Council housing is just full of chavs who can't be bothered getting a proper job. Get rid of the lot of it.

mannanan said...

I think that the Ramsey Town Commissioners should be applauded for the work they are doing on the Pondi. They realised a few years ago that they had a major problem with the housing stock they had which was in poor condition because of a lack of investment over the years. They could have sat on the fence and tried to improve the current housing as then but no they looked at the bigger picture and decided what was needed was for the whole estate to be demolished and new affordable modern housing to be built. to this end they have been doing it in phases now for the past four years with still a few years left before all the old houses are knocked down and the people re-housed in well thought out properties. It's going some way to alleviate the problem but more needs to be done. But well done Ramsey and well done you for a cracking photo again.....

Priyanka Khot said...

In India, old colonial colonies are called Civil Lines. In Delhi we used to have a block of old houses called Presidential estate which was bulldozed to make way for a medical university cum hostel.

breesha said...

No time for the Pondi to go and be replaced. A long tine coming but at least it's happening.

diXymiss said...

Very interesting photo-journalism piece. Will you submit this to your local newspaper?

Catherine said...

Yes, we get some in France. It is called HLM Habitation à Loyer Modéré. Government keeps building these houses in France because there's a very important housing crisis. Prices are increasing endlessly, until about 6000€/m² in Paris! How can ordinary people can buy an apartment in those conditions?
Maybe, the increase is going to stop because of the financial crisis. People won't be able to have bank credits anymore for buying at such prices.
As I"m very attached to things, I feel houses keep story of people past time. For instance, seing my previous house demolished would touch me deeply with sadness.
Your post is very interesting. I feel I could write about it for a long time! The B&W picture illustrates the end of a time, the end of that special conception of social help.

Lilli & Nevada said...

It is always sad to see the old being replaced with new, but sometimes its a good thing and other times not.

yani said...

No not like that here. It is good old make way for new.

Jackie said...

I'm glad that suitable alternative housing has been provided. But these estates do hold a lot of memories for those whom, when they first moved there, they represented hope and a new start.

As you know, in Glasgow they're also knocking down the old flats, block at a time, and gradually replacing them. I'm not convinced that without also providing infrastructure (jobs/shops/health centres/etc) moving people from an old flat to a shiny new one is going to make any more than a cosmetic difference. But I don't begrudge them the new home - better that than some of the awful sink estates they have to live in.

me ann my camera said...

Empty spaces seem to be lonely if they previously had inhabitants. It takes a while to get used to their new personality in transition. If the memory comes first, then the new retains the newness no matter how long it exists ever after.

Nice photo with lots of detail to study.

ken mac said...

oh yea. Projects! A good idea intially, they popped up all over New York. some are great, others are havens for drugs, gangs, etc. But poor folks gotta live somewhere...

Ken said...

We have housing that is owned by the provincial government and rented out to people based on their household income. But even with that there still is many people living on the streets of Toronto. Even through the extremely cold winters.

Ackworth Born said...

I was going to comment on the black dog but scrolled down here - interesting to read all the comments.

I'll try to keep this brief - one of things in the UK is that under "right to buy" all the best council houses were bought by sitting tenants and some were sold on (heck we bought one as private buyers) thus the stock depleted. Now it is no longer the councils that own and run the estates but "housing associations" and the like.

It is called "social housing" these days. I'll stop now before I start ranting.

JC said...

Terrific shot, especially for its historical value. I agree, you should submit it to a newspaper, after it's all finished.

Webradio said...

Bonjour Babooshka !
il faut parfois détruire, pour mieux reconstruire...
A plus tard...

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin